Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Ngunguru Wader Census and Ratty's Landing Ramble

We had a wonderful day today.

This morning the dedicated local group of birders counted waders and other birds around the north end of the Ngunguru Estuary and Sandspit. We do this on a regular basis. This is always good value and interesting. We were to have a picnic at the beach after the count but it was too windy so te crew came to Ratty's Landing and had the picnic on our deck where we talked of birds, nature, conservation etc over lunch.

This was followed by a ramble about our wetlands and adjoining property led by the very knowlegable Nan Pullman. She has really inspired us to know more about this great place we knew we had. The first stop was to proudly show our Matata (Fernbird) to the group. We discovered that we had a new family when they flew about in a small area immediately in front of the group with everyone getting a good view. Darling untrained performers. It was as if they knew the drill. We do know that we had at least six Matata. Now we must have eight in this small area.

Nan then led us about the wetland and into the bush on a journey of discovery into rushes, plants and trees.
It made our day.

Chris Buckley, Geologist, discovered that we have very interesting, and for this area, unusual clay in our road bank. More on that later when we know more about it.

This is what I like about living in one place for more than 6 months, we are getting to know this piece of land we are caring for and its great. Just last week Hilton found we had a Clematis growing in our bush. It is not far enough up into the canopy to be flowering but its a substantial vine so hopefully in a couple of years we will see the flowers out on the canopy.
Since living here we have been careful about what we remove in the way of vegetation as we are not always sure its a native so we let it flower and thats usually when we can tell if its a keeper or can make way for something that may normally live in or beside the bush. This mind set is proving to be a very good thing as we have some delightful finds. Like the Onion and Leek Orchids, quite insignificant plants and flowers but part of this land and its nice to see them very early spring popping up out of the seemingly inhospitable clay ground.
And  now we know its not just any old clay ground thanks to Chris Buckley.

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